Survey reveals school leaders’ opinions on 21st-century skills

In spite of school district leaders’ willingness to embrace digital content,  the survey found a continued need for professional development to help teachers better use educational technology in their classrooms. More than 47 percent of respondents identified “helping teachers effectively use technology” as the single biggest educational technology challenge facing their district.

Other key findings from the NSBA survey include:

•  More than 70 percent of respondents rank the federal e-Rate program as either “very important” or “somewhat important” in helping their district reach its educational technology goals.

•  Nearly 96 percent say the use of educational technology has increased learning opportunities for students in their district.

•  Ninety-three percent say educational technology has made students more engaged in learning.

•  More than 60 percent say educational technology has improved opportunities for students in special education classes, while 50 percent say it has increased learning for English language learners.

•  A growing number of districts (37 percent) have launched one-to-one computing initiatives, and 35 percent of respondents said netbooks likely will be the device purchased in the greatest volume to implement those programs. Traditional laptops (28 percent) and the recently released iPad (16 percent) also are popular options. Only 22 percent said they are leveraging students’ personal devices by allowing them to access the school network, a trend that is likely to increase in the years to come.

•  Thirty percent of districts responding have an official Facebook page as a communication/outreach tool, while nearly that many, 26 percent, use Twitter.

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